Friday, August 1, 2014

Review! Shannon's Gift by Nate Bennett

Shannon's Gift photo 22378016_zpse53cb3df.jpg
Genre: Grieving, loss, love story
Publish Date: June 1, 2014
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

  In this raw, emotional memoir, Nate Bennett shares the blog he maintained to work through his grief over the sudden loss of his wife Shannon. He is surprised and comforted to discover a vast virtual community of support. His blog posts—alternately poignant and of dry wit—eventually attracted tens of thousands of hits and a following from readers who hadn’t known the couple. This unique book gives the reader a window into the starkness of a widower’s grieving experience in real time. What comes through in virtually every post is his love for Shannon as he weaves in vignettes from their life together, chronicling their love story and his efforts to recover. And in the end, with the support of his virtual community and the strength he was able to draw from remembering Shannon’s wishes for him, he finds love again.   

What is Mitochondrial Disease?


Usually I stay away from this kind of books but I really liked this one.

Shannon’s Gift is the story of a husband who’s trying to cope with the sudden loss of his beloved wife. What you should know from the beginning is that this is NOT a work of fiction. The book was written by Shannon’s Husband, Nate.

It starts the day she had a shoulder surgery and then fell into a coma from which she never recovered. Nate and Shannon’s family and friends decide to start a blog where they’ve written about her condition, about her family and, most of all, it was a way for Nate to let out his pain.

So he kept writing even after Shannon’s death. He kept pouring his soul into that blog, remembering his life with her and “meeting” people going through the same thing. In a way, the blog became a community of people who are grieving and those who simply wanted to listen and offer a kind word.

What he did in this novel was to put together his blog posts and share them perhaps to show those in his situation that it’s okay to grieve and , sometimes, sharing your pain with someone else helps a lot.

Do not expect only pretty words and an ending where the prince saves the princess and they ride off into the sunset.

There will be times when you’ll cry your eyes out and others when you’ll laugh but I think you’ll really like the book.

I know you’ve probably heard this before but I’ll say it anyway. Life is short. Treasure every second you get to be with your loved ones because you never know when it will be over. Don’t waste time fighting, holding grudges, not talking to each other. What’s the point in that? Create memories that will give you solace in your time of need, that will help you get through and lift you up when you think there’s no point in taking another breath. Life’s too short to fill it with regret. Go right now and hug your wife, mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son. Tell them how much you love them and just … be there. Cherish every second for it might be the last.

I honestly do not know how to rate this book. How do you decide how many points someone’s suffering is worth? Someone’s life and memories? It’s impossible. I really wish I could upload the review just like this but unfortunately that’s not the way it works.
So, Mr. Bennett, I’ll grant the five stars for your wonderful wife. This is my rating for what she did as a mother, wife and friend. Rest in peace, Shannon. God bless.

Shannon's Gift photo ShannonsGiftBanner_zps59fcba92.jpg

Nate Bennett photo nateheadshot_zpsf7f33147.jpg
In the fall of 2011, Nate lost his wife of 26 years in a shocking turn of events. She’d just had an outpatient procedure on her shoulder and the doctor sent Nate to get the car to bring her home. In the next few minutes, things went terribly wrong. Shannon collapsed, never to recover. After more than a week in a critical care unit in pursuit of a cure, Nate honored Shannon’s wishes and had her life support discontinued and she died shortly later. Nate’s book, Shannon’s Gift, is the result of the blog Nate kept during Shannon’s hospitalization and after her death. Initially, the purpose of the blog was to keep friends and family informed of Shannon’s condition. Quickly, though, the blog became Nate’s catharsis and a way to stay connected to a web of supporters. 

After the sudden loss of his wife, Nate was surprised and comforted to discover a vast virtual community of support. His blog posts – alternately expressing poignancy and dry wit – eventually attracted tens of thousands of readers and a following from people around the world that didn’t even know Nate or his wife. The unique book gives the reader a window into the starkness of a widower’s grief in real time and a look at how social media has changed grieving in today’s world. In the end, with the support of his virtual community and the strength he was able to draw from remembering Shannon’s wishes for him, he finds love again. 

While Nate is new to the personal memoir genre, he is co-author of two management books, "Riding Shotgun: The Role of the COO" and “Your Career Game: How Game Theory Can Help You Achieve Your Professional Goals.” Both are books published by Stanford University Press. Additionally, his research has been published in respected scholarly journals such as the Academy of Management Review, the Academy of Management Journal, Psychological Bulletin, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. He has also published in many widely read resources for managers including the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, and 

Nate Bennett is a professor of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in the summer of 2012. From 1999 to 2012, he was on the faculty of the business school at Georgia Tech, where he most recently held the position of the Catherine W. and Edwin A. Wahlen Professor of Management. From 1999 until 2010, he served as associate dean and then as senior associate dean. Prior to Georgia Tech, he served on the faculty at Louisiana State University. While at LSU, he served at times as the management department’s Ph.D. program coordinator, department chair, MBA program director, and associate dean. 

Nate holds a BA in sociology, as well as a MA in Social Research from Tulane University. He earned his Ph.D. in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He resides in Atlanta, GA.     


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